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Let our visitors park here,’ demand elderly

PUBLISHED: 09:54 14 March 2008 | UPDATED: 14:52 07 September 2010

LONELY elderly residents have made a plea to Westminster Council to introduce visitors parking permits so their friends and family can visit. The council announced new parking concessions for older residents as part of its One City Agenda 2

Susanna Wilkey

LONELY elderly residents have made a plea to Westminster Council to introduce visitors parking permits so their friends and family can visit.

The council announced new parking concessions for older residents as part of its One City Agenda 2008 Every Older Person Matters scheme.

And residents desperately want this to mean permits for visitors so they can park in the daytime.

Pensioner Jeanne Strang, who lives on Hamilton Terrace, said: "When visitors come or even the gardener or the window cleaner they often have to drive away because there is nowhere to park.

"The elderly really need this kind of help but it is too difficult with the parking restrictions. My niece lives in Kentish Town and they have a scratch card system for visitors.

"That seems to me the best thing - I don't see why Westminster can't do it - it would make a big difference to my life. It is very difficult for us at the minute and nobody can come to visit in the day.

"My niece came to see me before Christmas to pick up some presents and she couldn't park so stopped outside for only a minute and got a ticket.

"We think residents should be given scratch cards."

And pensioner Jean Reddaway, who lives on Carlton Hill, said: "Parking concessions is a great idea - it would be simply splendid to have visitors' permits.

"In my street we have at least seven elderly widows who want to stay in the area but it is hard because no-one can come and visit in the day.

"A ration of permits of some sort would be a good idea. Even dropping off shopping at the moment is really hard for elderly people. It is really quite difficult.

"It would be marvellous if the council had some sort of visitor permit that we could put in a visitor car window for an hour or so - that is what we really want."

But at the moment the council is non-committal and vague about what the concessions will be.

Transport boss Cllr Danny Chalkley said: "Westminster is committed to ensuring that parking provision in the city assists those who need help the most, from residents needing a parking space, to supporting our older people.

"The council is now looking at the most suitable parking concession to support Westminster's carers and make it easier for visitors to see older friends and relatives."

Parking concessions are one of 50 initiatives the council is launching to improve elderly residents' health, well-being and access to information.

These include getting residents online, an extra £50,000 invested in exercise opportunities for older people in leisure centres and an increased provision of seating in the public realm and pedestrian dropped kerbs.

David Hogarth, of Westminster Older People's Action, said: "Providing the parking concessions mean something then we are very keen.

"The absence of home care in the agenda was a glaring omission but I hope the council will address this."

susanna.wilkey@hamhigh.co.uk


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